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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8072


Senator ALLISON (2:33 AM) —I move Democrat amendment (3) on sheet 2660 revised:

(3) Schedule 1, item 68, page 19 (lines 22 and 23), omit the item, substitute:

68 Section 40 (table)

Omit the section, substitute:

40 Required GWh of renewable source of electricity

(1) The required GWh of renewable source electricity for a year up to and including 2010 is set out in the following table:

Required GWh of renewable source electricity

Year

Required additional GWh

2001

300

2002

1100

2003

6916

2004

9990

2005

13064

2006

17290

2007

21517

2008

26127

2009

31122

2010 and later years

36500

This amendment is in line with what the industry says is achievable as a target for renewable energy by 2010 in that it adds 10 per cent renewable energy to the total. It does this not by introducing it as a percentage figure but as an actual target expressed in terms of electricity. We have calculated that on the basis of there being a growth of 3.5 per cent in energy consumption each year to the year 2010, which, I might say, is a conservative estimate. Between 1997 and 2001 I believe the average was 3.8 per cent, so this calculation is not unrealistic.

As I have said, the industry says that this target is achievable. It is on track, by 2010, with the right climate, to achieve this level of renewable energy in this country. Not just the industry but also plenty of analysts are saying that too. A report commissioned by Greenpeace and carried out by Next Energy found:

There is a strong case that enough renewable energy sources could be developed to meet our 10 per cent MRET of up to 36,500 gigawatt hours per year by 2010 at no or very low cost. This increase from the current 9,500 gigawatt hour MRET could be achieved using a combination of potentially high-volume sources including wind energy, solar water heating and sustainable biomass energy from multibenefit bioenergy crops. Meeting a 10 per cent MRET would bring significant environmental gains by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by some 26 million tonnes each year, equivalent of taking about 6 million cars off the road and creating direct permanent employment of about 14,000 new jobs, a large portion of which would be in regional areas in Australia. Increasing MRET to 10 per cent will assist Australia to meet its Kyoto target of 8 per cent over 1990 levels by 2010.

As senators will be aware, Australia is currently projected to reach 111 per cent of 1990 emissions by the end of the decade. That works out to be a gap of about 14.6 million tonnes per annum, and that could be closed if we simply adopted a higher target of 10 per cent.